Updated Mon, Sep 17, 2012 by Messiah
Chi is the secondary resource system for Monk. It represents the spiritual energy around you. As a Monk you can generate up to 4 Chi, or 5 with a specific talent, and then use it to power specific abilities. If you think of it in much the same way as Rogue combo points you will not be that far off.
Chi however is more complicated that simple combo points but it’s a good starting understanding.
At the most basic level, Chi is generated by using several basic abilities that cause it to be generated. Once you have Chi you can then use it to power other more advanced abilities. Which abilities generate Chi and which consume it forms the basic section of this guide.
Chi is developed through specific melee abilities or by casting specific spells based on your specialization.
Windwalkers (melee DPS) and Brewmasters (Tank) generate Chi by attacking enemies. Some of the abilities that they use are as follows:
Mistweavers (healers) can also generate Chi through the use of their healing abilities. Such as the following:
Now that you have Chi by using the abilities in the previous section, it is time to consume it. The abilities listed here use up the Chi that you have generated.
Ok, the above was all the easy stuff. You use abilities that generate Chi, you then use the Chi for other abilities. There is more to it than that though, since there are specialization bonuses, talent bonuses, and even glyph bonuses to how Chi is generated or spend. These are the advanced Chi topics.
Mistweavers and Windwalkers get Afterlife which is a passive ability that has a chance to generate either a Chi or Healing sphere when you kill an enemy. There is a base 50% chance to summon a healing sphere or if you kill the enemy with a Blackout Kick it instead has a 50% chance to generate a Chi sphere.
Brewmasters instead get the Brewmaster Training passive which while it does not generate Chi like Afterlife does, it does affect Chi. Once you have trained as a Brewmaster and get this ability your Tiger Palm no longer costs Chi, which means you will have a whole lot more to use on other abilities. You even get the chance to summon healing spheres the same as the other two specializations, once you hit level 70 and get Gift of the Ox. This gives all you melee attacks that deal damage to have a chance to summon a healing sphere, of which you can have up to three active at a time.
At level 45 you gain access to several talents that help with your Chi as a Monk. They are as follows:
Each of these talents have their place and depend largely on your playstyle. The most commonly chosen one is Ascension since it is always active and has nothing for players to do to make use of it. If you are a PVP player though, Chi Brew might be the best since it can help with your burst damage or healing on demand.
As if bonuses to chi generation or usage through specializations or talents were not enough, there are even glyphs that benefit your Chi. They are as follows:
You now understand how Chi is generated and consumed on both a basic and advanced level. You will probably also already grasp the basics on the usage of Chi, but just to be clear, let’s go through them.
As a Brewmaster, the most important consideration for Chi is to ensure that you generate enough to have Guard up as often as it comes off of cooldown (every 30 seconds) and enough to use Purifying Brew any time your incoming stagger damage starts to add up. To generate enough Chi you will use jab and keg smash as you main attacks.
As a Windwalker you generate Chi through your attacks which will be Jab and Expel Harm in single target fights, and adding in Spinning Crane Kick for AOE situations. You will then spend it on Rising Sun Kick or Blackout Kick to your enemies.
As a Mistweaver you will generate Chi though your use of surging and soothing mists. This should keep you with more than enough Chi to use your big heal Enveloping Mist any time you need it.